• 11 in 2011- #11 The Seven Marine 557 Outboard

    by Serious Offshore

    Our number 11 story in the countdown of the top 11 stories of 2011 is the launch of the 557HP Seven Marine Outboard. Introduced in February at the Miami Boat Show, the 557 could prove to be a major change in the marine-propulsion industry. Aside from the before unimaginable power packaged in an outboard motor, one very attractive attribute of this power package is it’s ability to deliver automotive reliability and ease of service to the outboard market.

    It’s lightweight aluminum, fuel-injected, supercharged V8 was not something we expected to see, especially in this tight economy. But with the shift towards more purposeful performance boats, this offering just might lead to a whole new class of open-cockpit pleasure boats With any luck we just might see a pair of these hanging off the transom of a raceboat in the near future.. Seven’s powerplant is based on the GM-built 556 horsepower LSA V8 that powers the Cadillac CTS-V.

    Customers ordering these powerplants from Seven Marine will have exterior finish options, allowing them carry their boat’s colors or theme past the transom and onto these engineering marvels. The Seven’s cowlings just scream “FAST” and lower case hydrodynamic engineering which is said to reduce drag dramatically over other high horsepower outboards. Closed freshwater cooling, exposed rear cooling fins, clean integrated power steering, dual-wall stainless steel exhaust manifolds, adjustable dual water pick-ups, and ZF Marine’s Joystick Maneuvering are all firsts delivered by Seven Marine’s launch of this engine.

    Some of this engine’s specs:
    Rated Power – 557 hp @ 5400 RPM
    Rated Torque – 550 lb-ft (745Nm)
    Dry Weight – 1000 Lb (454 Kg)

    This level of power firmly places this offering from Seven squarely at the front of the pack of other high performance outboards on the market. With the reduced drag, and weight savings, the questions remaining are if they can break the strangle hold Mercury and Yamaha have had on the high horsepower outboard market for numerous years. By comparison, the 350 horsepower offering from Mercury Racing weighs in at around 650 lbs while Yamaha’s 350 horsepower outboard weighs in a tick over 800 lbs. Right away a clear picture of increased power-to-weight ratios and lessened hydrodynamic drag emerges when considering 557′s attributes.

    We will have to wait and see how the Seven’s do over time against their formidable foes in Mercury Marine and Yamaha Motor, but the anticipation we have waiting to actually see two, (or three?), of these on some new high performance center consoles is with baited breath. The side of the equation we all continue wonder about is one of economics. The Seven’s list retail at $68,000 each, so a pair of them would cost the same as about six 300HP Mercury’s. One offset is that the owner will be servicing far fewer powerplants and have far fewer pieces, each with its own inherent possibility of failure. The Seven’s aren’t cheap, but in this sport, what is? The market will let us know soon enough. One thing though is certain. It’s going to be tough to talk about “weed whackers” and “eggbeaters” in the same sentence as the Seven Marine 557.